December 16, 2014 11:16 am
Updated: December 16, 2014 12:55 pm

Australian news anchor learns identity of Sydney victim, breaks down


TORONTO – Delivering the news on live TV of a 16-hour hostage standoff in a Sydney Lindt Chocolat Café was an especially emotional task for 7News anchor Natalie Barr, who appeared to learn that she knew one of the victims as she spoke the words on air.

“I’m just finding out, um…Katrina–Katrina Dawson was the sister of a prominent barrister, Sandy Dawson, who has done some work for Channel 7,” said Barr, before breaking down into tears. “The sister of Sandy Dawson, who I know, and who I have friends who know. She was a mother of three children….I’m just finding this out this morning.”

Barr’s co-anchor looked on in concern and emphasized the entire city of Sydney had a “heavy heart” from learning the news.

Sydney hostage standoff victims Katrina Dawson, 38, and Tori Johnson, 34.


“She’s the youngest sister of the lawyer who does a lot of work for Channel 7, who many would know in Sydney, and that family is suffering this morning–as the others are,” added Barr, before hanging her head.

Dawson, 38, was one of three lawyers buying coffee in the café before the attack happened, according to a statement from the New South Wales Bar Association.

Café manager Tori Johnson, 34, was identified as the second victim.

READ MORE: Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson identified as victims in deadly Sydney siege

The deadly siege began when a gunman burst into the small café in the early hours of Monday morning, taking 17 people hostage. It ended early Tuesday morning, when police stormed in after hearing gunfire.

The gunman, identified as Iranian-born Sydney resident 50-year-old Man Haron Monis, was also killed. Four others were injured and two pregnant women were hospitalized as a precaution.

With files from Global News reporter Andrew Russell

© 2014 Shaw Media

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